“Functional hearing can be maintained in most of our patients if we’re careful and we use the right electrodes,” he said. For patients who don’t yet have profound hearing loss at the low frequencies—those who still have hearing better than the 85-90-decibel level at 125-500 Hz—the results are favorable, Dr. Gantz said.
In clinical trials, those who have profound hearing loss at high frequencies but acceptable preserved hearing at low frequencies, who also have an implant and use hearing aids, have word recognition rates of between 80% and 83%, Dr. Gantz said. For the best results, it’s important that patients use “all modalities,” he said.
The advantages to using acoustic hearing and electricity assistance together are better localization of sounds, better hearing of music, and greater understanding of words in noise, he said.